Cecilia Heffer is a design academic, practice-based researcher and textile designer at UTS who specialises in contemporary lace and textile innovation. She previously worked in leading textile studios in London and New York, and is now based in Sydney.
Her research specifically explores the integration of the handmade with emerging technologies. Her focus contemporary translations of lace as a vehicle for innovative textile design concepts.
At UTS, Cecilia is senior lecturer and coordinator of the textile design program for Fashion & Textiles. She supervises final year textile students for the fashion collections.
Cecilia was commissioned to design the lace curtains for NSW Government House and her work has been acquired by both public and private collections such as the MAAS – (Powerhouse Museum), the National Gallery of Victoria, The Centralne Muzeum, Lodz, Poland and the Tamworth and Wangaratta Regional Galleries. She has received a number of awards including research grants for the development of her work from the Visual Arts/Craft Board of the Australia Council of the Arts.
Cecilia is the guest curator for the 2nd Tamworth Textile Triennial, Group Exchange. The Triennial is a key national exhibition providing audiences with an overview of developments in contemporary Textile Art practice. The exhibition is touring nationally between 2014-2016.
Over the last decade interdisciplinary engagement with lace as a contemporary design source has opened up a new emerging space for designers to explore unconventional approaches to traditional technologies and materials. This can be evidenced through International Contemporary Lace exhibitions over recent years, whereby artists outside the discipline of textiles have been invited to explore material innovation as a means to open up new definitions of lace (Radical Lace USA, 2007; Lost in Lace UK, 2011; Love Lace Australia, 2011–13). This portrait is an overview of my own contemporary lace practice during this time. I view my work as a practice of a practice made up of iterations of the one intent – that is to explore notions of making as an embodied response to the materials and places that I work and live in. Traditionally lace could be read as a place marker and came to represent the family and region where they were made through the materials and patterns employed to make them. Drawn to the technical complexity that this allusive textile holds I am interested in demonstrating how making knowledges move between generations. Historically embroidered laces for example are known as ‘punto en aire’ (‘stitches in the air’). This prompts me to question how new notions of stitches in the air can be re-imagined as a modern-day place marker. The motivation behind my lace works is to create original work that reflect back a unique recognition of place. It is in the experience of recognition itself that enables us to view our environment in a new light.
Heffer, C 2008, 'Government House Sydney', Artichoke, vol. 21, no. 21, pp. 84-87.
The completion of a ten year long program of redecoration of the State Rooms of Government House has united contemporary interior design.
Heffer, C 2008, 'To Furnish a Future, Government House', Textile Fibre Forum, vol. 89, no. 89, pp. 24-25.
The refurbishment of the State Drawing rooms, Government House, NSW
Heffer, C 2007, 'From high- tech textiles to magic furniture', Meet your makers, vol. Sydney Des, no. Sydney des, pp. 37-42.
From high- tech textiles to magic furniture our city's designers are finally making their mark. To celebrate Sydney Design 07, Robert Bevan meets some of our talents.
Heffer, C 2006, 'Solvoid', Visual Communication, Screens and the Social Landcsape, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 251-255.
Stanton, AF 2018, 'Capturing The Ephemeral, Chapter 2' in Stanton, AF (ed), Dimensional Cloth Sculpture by Contemporary Textile Artists, Schiffer Publishing, 4880 Lower Valley Rd, Atglen,PA 191310, USA, pp. 1-256.
This publication explores how sculpture is no longer limited to materials such as stone or metal. Sculpting through cloth is shown here through insightful works contributed by 78 artists from around the world. This is essential reading and inspiration for collectors, students, home artists, and anyone who appreciates innovative artwork.
Heffer, C 2013, 'Cecilia Heffer Case Study II' in Lace Here Now, Black Dog Pub Limited, London, UK, pp. 80-85.
Decorative arts & crafts.
Lace:Here:Now is an exploration into the rich heritage of the lace manufacturing industry in Nottingham, discussing its evolution and adding the work of contemporary designers and makers. Cecilia Heffer's contribution takes the form of an artist case study to demonstrate the reach lace has had in the industry on an international platform. The contribution sits with other leading lace contributors including Tessa Whitfield, Timorous Beasties.
Heffer, C 2017, 'Language Lace: thinking and speaking through material making', Conference Proceedings 2017, 8th Annual Conference Popular Culture Association of Australia and New Zealand (PopCAANZ), POPCAANZ, Wellington, New Zealand, pp. 114-126.
Over the last decade interdisciplinary engagement with lace has opened up an emerging space for designers to explore new materials and technologies that question conventional forms of textile making and meaning. The focus of this article is to present contemporary approaches to lacemaking as a creative exploratory response to a local environment. The article will present a textile installation created for the Museum Central de Textile in Lódź, Poland in 2013. Here historical embroidered laces known as punto en aire (translation: ‘stitches in the air’) will be re- imagined as a modern-day place marker. Philosophies of striated and smooth space (Deleuze & Guattari 1988) will explore metaphor through the relationship between language and material structures as a means to move beyond the surface reading of a textile. This article seeks to find original research methodologies for place making in textiles and in doing so present an expanded view of the field.
Bongers, A & Heffer, C 2015, 'Pattern Stations - Extending textile materials through tangible interaction', TEI 2015 - Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction, TEI 2015: 9th International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction, Association for Computing Machinery, Inc, Stanford University, pp. 405-406.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Pattern Stations is a collaborative project between textile designer and artist Cecilia Heffer and interface designer and interaction researcher Bert Bongers. The interactive installations create patterns, extending the textile patterns through sensors, cameras and computation. The tangible patterns installation is developed specifically for the TEI conference, and aims to give the audience an experience of manipulation of physical objects and materials.
Heffer, C 2008, 'Integrating Textiles with Electronic Systems', Pervasive Expression:Workshop on Pervasive Visual, Auditory and Alternative Modality Information Display, Pervasive Expression Workshop, Pervasive, Sydney, Darling Harbour, pp. 1-3.
Pervasive display technology often experiments beyond the use of simple LCD or pixel-based displays, instead utilizing a wide set of alternative output technologies such as LED light arrays, e-textiles, electroluminescent wires, thermo-chromatic inks, shape-changing materials, inflatables, smell emitters, tangible feedback mechanisms or complex sound generators. Although recent advances in pervasive technology have advanced knowledge about sensor data interpretation, context recognition and their applications, still much more needs to be known about how information can be communicated back to the user in an expressive but pervasive way. The development, implementation and use of such technology inherently encounters important considerations, such as privacy, ethics, usability, control, comprehensibility, engagement and technical development, spanning a spectrum from informative representation to artistic experience.
Heffer, C 2019, 'Place Memory: The Sketchbook Project', The Sketch Book Project, Brooklyn New York, Toronto ON@The Distillery Historic District and Chicago, IL@Hyde Park Art Centre and Atlanta, GA@Ponce City Market..
Place Memory the artist book was created in response to a call out by a New York, Brooklyn-based Art Library that organises global, collaborative art projects known as The SketchBook Project. It features 41,349 artists books contributed by creatives from 135 countries. The collection is open for the public to view and has a digitised collection online. It has grown into a worldwide community of more than 70000 artists. It focusses on the intersection of hands-on art making and new technology. The Sketchbook Projects nurtures community-supported art projects that harness the power of the virtual world to share inspiration in the real world.
Place Memory can be viewed on line www.sketchbookproject.com in their "Lines and Graphics" section #S174568 The Sketch Book Project 2018. It has had 156 Online Views, travelled 180 miles and was selected to tour
Toronto ON@The Distillery Historic District
Chicago, IL@Hyde Park Art Centre
Atlanta, GA@Ponce City Market
Heffer, C 2018, 'Luxury Lace Swatch', Swatch of Luxury, n/a, Swedish School of Textiles, University of Boräs..
Swatch of Luxury Lace will be presented as part of the ‘State of Fashion searching for the New Luxury Fashion Colloquium creative practice exhibition Netherlands 31 May – 7 June 2018 developed by Dr Ricarda Bigoloni Chantal McDonald RMIT and Professor Clemens Thornquist and Linda Linstrom from the Swedish School of Textiles, University of Boräs. The colloquim explores issues of luxury against a background of urgent environmental and social issues: less waste and less pollution, more equality, wellbeing and inclusivity.
This research is in the field of fashion and textile design practice using artisanal methods, defined through hand making. Making in Pieces was an exhibition designed to reveal the steps involved in the respective fashion and textile design practices of Donna Sgro and Cecilia Heffer. The aim was to set up working stations (a studio) within the exhibition space for viewers to gain firsthand experience of artisanal making processes. The idea was to convey the material transformation that occurs in an artisanal practice. The process opens up and ‘makes known’ the incremental steps in a making process that are usually witnessed solely by the designer.
Traditional artisanship, connected to Haute Couture ateliers in fashion and textile design practice is experiencing a decline, due to the proliferation of global production and mechanization [Business of Fashion, 2015]. However, in the context of slow design, artisanal practices are being redefined through a broader acknowledgement of contemporary practices; extending the application of the term artisanal [Aakko 2016]. Making in Pieces gives agency back to the maker and engages with original ways to disseminate and expand artisanal practice.
Making in Pieces was included in Sydney Craft Week in 2017 through a peer review selection committee. It was exhibited in GAFFA Gallery, Sydney 11-22nd October. The increasing popularity of the event is evidence of a changing interest in notions of making and artisanship, these play an integral role in the future of local practices across a broad range of disciplines.
Aakko, M. 2016, Fashion in-between: Artisanal design and production of fashion, PhD. Thesis, Aalto University.
Business of Fashion, 2015, ‘How can traditional craftsmanship survive in the modern world’ Business of Fashion, Special Issue, 19 April.
This research is in the field of fashion and textile design practice, it engages with artisanal embroidery methods through an ongoing collaboration with Master Embroiderers Rajat Jain (Delhi), Ashok Laidawal (Vrindhavan) and the Stitching Project a social enterprise led by Fiona Wright, Pushkar, India. Embroidered Relations from UTS to India was an exhibition designed to showcase the fashion and textile design collaborations of Cecilia Heffer, Donna Sgro and Armando Chant with master embroidery artisans. The aim was to open a discussion on the complexities of cross-cultural collaboration and to explore the space between design and artisanal practice.
Traditional artisanship in India spans over 4000 years and is embedded with rich history of cultural practices. Although artisan culture still exists it is in danger of losing valuable skills and knowledge as younger generations move to the cities to find work, often losing family connection, their heritage and living in very poor conditions. Over the last seven years the UTS Fashion and Textile program has connected with Indian artisan culture through their Global Studios. The intention is to facilitate a broader acknowledgement of artisan practice. This research gives agency back to the artisan and engages with new original ways to extend design collaboration and artisanal practice.
Embroidered Relations from UTS to India was included in Sydney Craft Week in 2018 through a peer review selection committee. It was exhibited in the UTS Library, Sydney 11-22nd October.
The cultural value of the exhibition has been recognized by Gene Sherman SCII Fashion Hub who extended an invitation to exhibit the artisan collaborations at the Museum of Sydney, 12th April 2019. The exhibition complimented the Keynote address by Bandana Tewari Editor at Large-Vogue, India on the importance of sustaining artisan practice. A panel discussion followed with Tewari leading the conversation ...
How can we engage an audience more deeply in the making of a textile? This paper will explore the materiality of film as an exploratory textile site, a moving surface through which a maker can disseminate practice based research. It will base its discussion on a seven-minute film titled Drawn Threads which documents the creation of a lace installation commissioned for the 14th International Triennial of Tapestry, Museum Central de Textile in Lódź, Poland 2013. The film moves through a vocabulary of surfaces, the ephemerality of an Australian beachscape transforms into a haptic stitching process transitioning to a final site of transformation, Museum Central. The film evolved out of an interdisciplinary collaboration with design researcher Dr Zoe Sadokierski and funded by the University of Technology Sydney Library. The filming process privileges the maker the authority of interpretation, to share “slow looking” and make connections between sets of relationships. Demonstrating how lace structures can serve to illuminate embodied relationships between textiles and place contributes to the cultural agency of the craft. In this instance, the construction of a dissolving lace surface can be regarded as a site for the projection of our collective experience of movement and migration.
'Drawn Threads' is a contemporary lace installation by textile artist Cecilia Heffer, created for the 14th International Tapestry Triennial, Lodz, Poland in 2013. This video follows Cecilia's creative process as she explores ways to convey ephemeral light and shadow experienced in the Australian landscape through lace-making. The video is part of 'Lace Narratives: A monograph 2005 – 2015', a hybrid publication documenting Cecilia's practice-led research, produced by Zoë Sadokierski for the MediaObject book series, distributed by UTS ePRESS.
Heffer, C 2007, 'Patterns, New Surface Design', Laurence King Publishing London Ltd, London.
collection of contemporary surface patterns
Heffer, C, Dorst, K, Shepherd, R, Williamson, L, Carnie, BW & Trouton, L 2007, 'Lace: contemporary textiles exhibition and new works', Lace: contemporary textiles exhibition and new works, DAB DOCS, Sydney, pp. 1-46.
Heffer, C, 'Aerial Lace', Petite: Miniature Textiles, Cecilia Heffer, The workshop space at Wangaratta Exhibitions Gallery.
The Petite: Miniature Textiles exhibition served as a contemporary textile survey show that provided a valuable insight into current practices in Australia. Through a public call for exhibition, one hundred and nine artworks from ninety-five artists were selected for exhibition through a peer review process. The selected artworks included both traditional and contemporary approaches and demonstrated diverse textile techniques - from weaving to embroidery, surface embellishment to patchwork, dyeing, printing and use of alternative fibres. 'Aerial lace' is a contemporary lace work that explores a sense of 'place' through referencing aerial perspectives of the Australian landscape. It comprises a combination of photographic transfer images and rusted silk cloth, machine stitched to create a miniature lace landscape work. In this work lace acts a metaphor for understanding country, place and belonging. In this case, the 'aerial' view or flying is not only understood as providing an opportunity to look down and observe and reflect on the patterned landscape, but is also understood as an experience of being suspended in space between two cultures. Borrowing from the writer Murray Bail's novel Eucalyptus where a paddock is compared to a paragraph: 'A paragraph is not so different from a paddock - similar shape, similar function.', 'Aerial Lace' can be seen as a textile paragraph that represents a story of cultures and belonging through the form of landscape. The Petite exhibition generated an unprecedented level of interest for the Gallery, particularly from artists and textile audiences. A successful Textile Forum was held during the exhibition including a symposium and a diverse program of workshops.
Heffer, C, 'Aerial Lace', Sensorialoop, 1st Tamworth Textile Triennial, Tamworth Regional Gallery, Tamworth Regional Gallery, toured nationally 2011-2013.
Aerial Lace is a suite of fifteen textile works that explore memory, place and identity. The work reflects on the experience of migration and the process of cultural assimilation. It seeks to extend metaphorical and material translations of lace. The series was selected for Sensorial Loop, the 1st Tamworth Textile Triennial. The Triennial explores the change and blurring of boundaries in Australian textile practice today. From 24 September to 26 November 2011, the Tamworth Regional Gallery featured the work of 22 textile artists, selected by Guest Curator Patrick Snelling. The Triennial is an incarnation of the Tamworth Fibre Textile Biennial, and continues its rigorous and stimulating contribution to Australias cultural calendar.
Heffer, C, 'Birch', Five Bells: A Visual Ode to Sydney, Damien Minton, Damien Minton Gallery.
Birch is a one off lace work that was included amongst the works of thirty nine artists from all ages and art practices taking part in a unique exhibition at the Damien Minton Gallery, Sydney The exhibition titled Five Bells: A Visual Ode to Sydney was an initiative by gallery director Minton. Artists were invited to respond to the Kenneth Slessor poem Five Bells that lent itself to painter John Olsens masterpiece Five Bells now hanging in the Art Gallery of NSW. Authors, critics and performance artists took part in a series of talks and events during the run of Five Bells 4th-18th February 2012. The cultural significance of the work is reflected in the recognition the exhibition received and the caliber of artists involved. The inclusion of this work in such a prestigious exhibition reminds us that textiles and craft also reside and have a place in gallery spaces as powerfully and relevant as an art form as any other. Participation in the exhibition Five Bells: A Visual Ode to Sydney was by invitation only. The significant of this reflects that the work is valued as cultural capitol and is situated in a vibrant cultural art practice unique to Sydney.
Heffer, C, 'Chair Talk', Re-Loved: designer stories, Powerhouse Museum, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney.
Re-Loved - Designer Stories is a Powerhouse Museum exhibition that was part of Sydney Design Week 2010, 31st July-15th August. The larger theme of the Sydney Design Week was 'story telling as a human act'. Curator Jane Lateif selected eight Sydney designers from various disciplines and invited them to take a pre-loved and/or discarded chair with all its inherent meanings - functional, symbolic and historical - and 're-use' it as a vehicle with which to tell a story. The exhibition provided an opportunity for participating designers to question design conventions surrounding chair design and to use this as a platform to explore narrative. The designers represented architecture, graphic design, jewellery design, industrial design and in my case, textile design. As one of eight Australian designers chosen to showcase and represent Australian design during Sydney Design Week 2010, the exhibition demonstrated public recognition. The exhibition was extended for a month as a result of public interest. A review and article was written by design critic Ridhika Naidoo and published on the Powerhouse online design resource D*Hub.
Heffer, C, 'Commissioned Textile Design for Government House, Sydney', Government House, Sydney, Historic Houses Trust, Government House, Sydney.
Commissioned Textile Design for Government House, Sydney The project was part of the Historic Houses Trust To Furnish a Future Program, a five-year refurbishment plan to redesign the interior of Government House, Sydney, 2002-2007. I was commissioned to design a contemporary lace curtain for the State Rooms. Throughout a three-year interview period I presented new concepts and methodologies for the lace curtain â to a series of judging panels consisting of leading architects, historians, curators and design experts. This work is part of ongoing research-by-design investigation into the possibilities of contemporary lace. New production techniques, the possibilities of digital imagery and non-traditional imagery are explored in the context of the unique open-work structure of lace. The motivation behind these projects is to bring the qualities of lace into the world of modern textiles, fashion, interior design and architecture. These investigations combine technical and aesthetic innovation. The significance of this research is that it stands alone in its field and has created an original Australian lace innovation; one that is unique to our culture and times. It breaks away from the traditional European floral motif normally associated with lace design. It references botanical illustrations specific to NSW and, in particular, the work of the Scott sisters who left a plethora of botanical illustrations in the 1900s. The scale, composition and repeat of the design completely breaks away from the high decorative style associated with traditional lace design, giving it a uniquely Australian aesthetic of light, space and scale.
Heffer, C, 'DATA LACE', DATA LACE, UTS LIBRARY.
Contemporary Lace installation created through transforming shredded office waste into a delicate contemporary lace work. Fragments of texts, symbols and numbers signify the discarded activity of various admin processes over a period of time and are re-imagined as a new material system - a Data Lace. The luxury value of the textile is the time invested in its making in contrast to fast fashion systems.
Heffer, C, 'Digital Lace', From Lausanne To Beijing, 5th International Fiberart Biennale Exhibition, China Architecture & Building Press, Tsinghua University, Beijing.
Translation of contemporary Reticella Lace length into a direct digital print silk length, 8 meters long, 120cm wide. Presented as an installation piece at the 5th From Lausanne To Beijing, International Fiberart Biennale Exhibition,Tsinghua University, Beijing
Heffer, C, 'Drawn Threads', 14th Textile Tapestry Triennial, 14th International Tapestry Triennial, Lodz, Poland, Centralne Muzeum Wlokiennictwa, Lodz, Poland.
Lace Installation designed for the 14th International Tapestry Triennial which is the oldest and one of the most prestigious International Textile Triennials in the world. Participation in the International Tapestry Triennial, Lodz, Poland is by invitation only. Through a controlled Programming Board the Museum invites National Cultural Consultants from each country to select three works. For the 2013 Triennial Valerie Kirk, Head of Textiles at the Australian National University Canberra, was asked to be Australias national consultant. I was invited along with artists Gabriella Hegyes and Treahna Hamm to represent Australia in this event. The exhibition showcased one hundred and twenty artists representing fifty countries. My research contribution to this field lies in the unique lace technique I have developed together with the integration of digital photographic imagery. The digital print has been embedded into the lace structure and demonstrates the potential to develop alternative ways to develop lace pattern. The integration of printed image into the lace making process is a new unique approach that has the potential to extend how lace design motifs are produced.
Heffer, C, 'Ebony Lace', The 7th International Fiber Art Biennale Exhibition, From Lausanne to Beijing, Nantong,, The 7th International Fiber Art Biennale, Nantong, China.
Ebony Lace aims to push traditional boundaries in lace-making using unique construction and natural eucalyptus dye processes. Through a unique exploration of black dye, silk and thread the lace pays homage to traditional black laces commonly known as Chantilly Lace. It contributes to approaches in the Slow Design movement and has implications for sustainable design, reuse and upcycling. The work demonstrates potential solutions to fabric waste as future lace can be created using discarded textile off cuts for bespoke Interior and Fashion.
Heffer, C, 'Eternity', Redfern Biennale, Redfern.
Installation floor piece, recycled material
Dimensions approx 2.5 meters wide x 70cm height
Heffer, C, 'Group Exchange: 2nd Textile Tamworth Triennial', Tamworth Regional Gallery, Tamworth Regional Gallery.
The Triennial explores the change and blurring of boundaries in Australian textile practice today. From 15 August to 20 September 2014, the Tamworth Regional Gallery features the work of 22 textile artists, selected by Guest Curator Cecilia Heffer. The Triennial is an incarnation of the Tamworth Fibre Textile Biennial, and continues its rigorous and stimulating contribution to Australias cultural calendar.
Heffer, C, 'Hyperbolic Lace', Fashion Craft: Drawn Threads, Cecilia heffer, UTS Tower.
Hyperbolic Lace started as an investigation into geometric structural surfaces as a means to explore future lace possibilities. In October 2008 I was invited to be an artist in residency on the Masters Textiles Future Programme at Central Saint Martins, London. From this residency I discovered the work of Belgium Design group FoAM Lab who have conducted some very interesting workshops that explore hyperbolic geometries. The hyperbolic formula is based on the work of mathematician Daina Taimina, who in 1997 at Cornell University worked out how to make a physical model of hyperbolic space. This enables the participant to tactilely explore, the properties of this unique geometry. The collaboration with the Embroiderersâ Guild of NSW has followed this model. Embroiderers worked on single units which were then stitched into the hyperbolic form. Medical cellular structures, histopathology and spider webs were some the influences for their embroidery pieces.
Heffer, C, 'Integration - The Nature of Objects', Ivan Dougherty, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, College of Fine Arts, UNSW, College of Fine Arts, Magazine.
Object Magazine 2006
Heffer, C, 'Lace', Contemporary Textiles, DAB DOCS, Sydney Morning Herald, Essential..
Heffer, C, 'Lace', Inside Out, ArtTech, Object Gallery, Sydney; DMU Cube Gallery, Leicester; Righton Gallery, Manchester; The Poly, Falmouth.
Inside Out is an international touring exhibition featuring forty-six miniature sculptures produced in resin using 3D printing technologies. Developments in virtual computer visualisation and integrated digital technologies are giving contemporary makers new insight and opportunities to create objects and forms which were previously impossible to produce or difficult to envisage. The exhibition is the result of collaboration between the Art Technology Coalition, the University of Technology Sydney and RMIT University in Australia along with De Montfort University, Manchester Metropolitan University and University College Falmouth incorporating Dartington College of Arts in the United Kingdom. The work Lace explores new ways of interpreting lace as an open work structure through the technology of rapid prototyping. In this instance, rapid prototyping enables the materiality of a piece of lace to be folded and rolled, allowing the lace to stand as a 3 dimensional object, to be viewed both from the inside and out. While embracing the physicality of new material, the piece references traditional techniques and explores interconnections between memory, pattern and technology. Encoded in the process is the tradition of a textile history that has continually responded to creative technologies that have evolve within each age. Inside Out was exhibited 5 June-25 July 2010 at Object gallery, the Australian Centre for Craft and Design and toured internationally. The exhibition drew attention due to its exploration of advanced technologies applied to design outcomes.
Heffer, C, 'Lace Geometries', Wangaratta Contemporary Textile Award, Wangaratta VIC.
Heffer, C, 'Lace Narratives', Lace Narratives, -, Damien Minton Gallery Sydney.
Lace Narratives was a new collection of over seventy textile works exhibited as a solo exhibition at the Damien Minton Gallery Sydney. It also included an artist event and floor talk. The aim of the work was to challenge traditional notions of textile narrative and lace making in order to innovate and create new contemporary lace designs and textile stories. The textile narrative in lace traditionally references the floral as its predominant motif. In the new work the narrative breaks away from traditional floral motifs. While still drawing from the past, it however interprets cultural memory through the concept of 'place' and enquires into the ways in which textiles serve as a story telling media. The work used both traditional and new textile technologies combining unconventional materials, techniques and imagery. Deconstructed old passports and birth certificates, for example, were reworked into new lace constructions, rusted nails were buried in cloth in order to imprint memory and photographic digital transfers were used in the creation of images. Sydney Design Week 2010, whose theme was story telling as a human act, featured the exhibition. The significance of this research has been acknowledged by the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne through its acquisition of a selection of work. The work has become part of the National Living Artist Trust Fund that houses a collection of over 350 Australian artists. It is the first textile collection to be acquired by NGV and will be exhibited and toured regularly.
Heffer, C, 'LAced (Recipient of a DAB Innovation Grant from the University of Technology)', University of Technology.
Recipient of a DAB Innovation Grant from the University of Technology To produce a publication showing textile research outcomes from a Solo exhibition LACED, Sheffer Gallery Sydney An exhibition of Contemporary Lace textiles funded by the Australia Council
Heffer, C, 'No Selfie', Damien Minton Salon Show.
approx 1.5 meters wide x 1meter height
Heffer, C, 'Petite: Antique Lace', Petite Miniature Textiles Exhibition, Wangaratta Regional Gallery, Victoria, Wangaratta Regional Gallery, Victoria.
Antique Lace is a series of three lace works that explore notions of the role of mending and reuse in textile history. The idea of making do and reconstituting existing textiles reflects on the Slow Design movement current in design practice. The works have been reconstructed from antique lace remnants in a unique machine stitching process. The suite was selected for the Petite Miniature Textiles Exhibition, Wangaratta Regional Gallery 16th June-22 July 2012. The exhibition is a biannual event and showcases the diversity of approach in textile artistry in Australian contemporary textile practice. Through a peer review process the work was selected for the Petite Miniature Textiles Exhibition, Wangaratta Regional Gallery. In recognition of the cultural and historical value of the work the Gallery has made an acquisition of the three works and they are now part of the Gallery collection. The significance of a gallery acquisition is important as it demonstrates that the work is valued and represented in a public Museum collection. It sits among other works in its field and has been chosen for its unique contribution to Australian textile practice.
Heffer, C, 'PODS', reSkin, the future of wearable Technology, Cecilia Heffer, Australian National University Gallery.
Heffer, C, 'Reticella Lace', Wangaratta Contemporary Textile Award 2009, Wangaratta Exhibitions Gallery, Wangaratta, Victoria.
Heffer, C, 'Reticella Series, Digital Lace series', LACED, -, Sheffer Gallery.
The analysis of lace as an historical artefact was based on the Lace collection at the Powerhouse Museum Sydney, with a mentorship with lace historian, Rosemary Shepherd. The intention was to translate lace in a contemporary way, merging traditional practice with emerging new technologies. The project was funded by the Australian Visual Arts/Craft Board, under an Emerging Works Grant. Research outcomes were exhibited as a solo exhibition entitled LACED, shown at the Sheffer Gallery, Sydney 2006, and receiving significant reviews. LACED was presented at the Inform Symposium, Powerhouse Museum, 2006 and was part of various discussions surrounding issues of practice-based research. This exhibition is part of a series of ongoing research-by-design investigations into the possibilities of contemporary lace. New production techniques, the possibilities of digital imaging and non-traditional imagery are explored in the context of the unique open-work structure of lace. The motivation behind these projects is to bring the qualities of lace into the world of modern textiles, fashion, interior design and architecture. These investigations combine technical and aesthetic innovation. The significance of this research is that it redefines the complexity of traditional lace structures and looks at alternatives for future lace as an openwork surface. Through deconstructing the original meaning of lace, new lace structures have been explored that are outside the original lace constructions of weave, knit, and embroidery. Alternative processes of machine stitching onto a soluble base with laser cut silk fabric motifs were created. The work is unique: rather than replicating the lace, it arrives at a new creation of lace. It is significant in that it stands alone in its field and has more relevance to our age of production and technology.
Heffer, C, 'Rose Street', Petite: Miniature Textile Biennale, Wangaratta Regional Gallery.
Heffer, C, 'Shadow Traces', Momentum, 18th Tamworth Textile Biennial, Tamworth Regional Gallery, Tamworth.
Heffer, C, 'Sydney Esquisse, Datum UTS Group Show, Customs House, Sydney', Customs House, Sydney, Sydney Esquisse, Design week, Powerhouse Museum promotional material catalogue.
Design Week, group Show at Customs house
Heffer, C, 'Traceries', Bespoke: design for the people, Museum of Democracy, Old Parliament House, Canberra.
Heffer, C, 'Wamberal', Wangaratta Contemporary Awards, Victoria, Wangaratta Regional Gallery, Victoria, Wangaratta Regional Gallery, Victoria and Damien Minton Gallery, Sydney.
Wamberal is a lace installation that is part of an ongoing practice led enquiry into alternative ways to create contemporary lace. It was selected as a finalist in the Wangaratta Contemporary Textiles Awards, Victoria. The judging panel consisted of leading Australian curators and design academics. The exhibition has gained national recognition as a national textile survey show and is a biannual event in the textile calendar. It is linked to a catalogue, national symposium and artist talks. Key curators visit the event from major galleries such as the National Gallery of Victoria.
Heffer, C, 'Wonder', Redfern Biennale, Redfern.
Bongers, AJ & Heffer, C, 'Tangible Interactive Lace - Pattern Station #2', Arts Exhibition of the 9th International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI), Association for Computing Machinery, Inc, Stanford University, CA.
The piece presented a novel exploration of physical and tangible materials (fabric, driftwood, rocks) as part of an interactive installation. Furthermore it was an exploration in three-dimensional space, expanding the flat 2D nature of the standard video screen into a sculptural entity. The spatial element and the link with nature was effectuated through multiple projections, one of which was visible on a screen on the window, linking the inside space to the outside space.
Pattern Stations is a collaboration between textile designer Cecilia Heffer and Associate Professor Bert Bongers. It seeks to extend our perception to lace pattern and textural space. New ways of generating pattern are explored through the interaction between analogue and digital technologies. It will be shown at Craft ACT, as part of Science Week
Live and recorded panel discussion connected to artisan collaborations in India. Panel Chair Bandana Tewari (Editor at Large-Vogue, India). In association with the Gene Sherman Foundation.
Heffer, C 2009, 'Integrating Textiles with Electronic Systems', Sanblue Enterprises, pp. 1-3.